Engineering and Science news

A False Color 432 Landsat composite image, made in Google Earth Engine

Google makes 40 years of Earth observations available to researchers with Google Earth Engine!

June 21, 2017
by Mr. Stace D Maples

Last week I spent 3 days at Google for their annual Google Earth Engine Summit, learning about new features and applications of their Google Earth Engine technology. If you haven’t seen Google Earth Engine, I encourage you to go to and use the signup link to get an account. It’s absolutely free for non-commercial use and it’s capabilities are pretty mind-blowing.

Chris DeBoever and Mary-Ellen Petrich at Carpentries Instructor Training

Software and Data Carpentries: Building Campus Capacity

May 23, 2017
by Amy E. Hodge
One thing Stanford Libraries knows about running Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry workshops on Stanford’s campus is that workshop demand is high. Case in point: when we invited post-docs for a Data Carpentry workshop on an upcoming weekend this June, we had 120 people interested in the 40 available seats. 
That’s some serious demand. 
Software and Data Carpentry are sister organizations focused on teaching computing best practices to scientists. The idea is to make research faster, more efficient, and more reproducible by teaching scientists the basics of version control (usually Git), task automation (using the shell), and modular programming (typically in Python, but sometimes R). The two-day, hands-on workshops are taught by volunteer instructors, but workshop hosts are responsible for other costs, like instructor travel and food.
Co-expression of CDT1A and SOL2 in Arabidopsis thaliana seedling leaf

SDR Deposit of the Week: Video tutorials for 4D visualization

May 15, 2017
by Amy E. Hodge

Many researchers rely on open source software for data analysis, but lack of documentation on how to use the software can sometimes be an issue. In these situations, it's up to someone in the community to step up and create better resources to help people learn how to get the most out of these tools.

Stanford biology undergrad Nathan Cho found himself in just this situation recently while working on his honors thesis. Cho's project involved studying how stem cell development in plants affects the timing of the cell cycle, the process by which cells grow and divide. Analysis of his microscopy images required him to use open source software from the Max Plank Institute called MorphoGraphX.